A business case for councils and industry to use local recycled content in pavement construction demonstrates competitiveness as a supplement to traditional quarry materials based on quality, price and availability.
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The use of recycled products in pavement construction introduces an opportunity for councils to better manage the future cost of pavement construction and maintenance. Recycled crushed concrete, crushed brick, glass fines, Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) and crumbed rubber now supplement traditional virgin aggregate and sand extracted from quarries, competing on criteria of quality, price and availability. Recycled products also offer many long term environmental benefits.
Shortages in quarry materials in the Sydney market has seen prices rise by up to 70 % due to increased haulage distances and associated costs. Reports of similar challenges are emerging in Victorian markets.
Currently in Victoria, over 500 quarries produce around 500 million tonnes of heavy construction materials per year in a competitive market place. Each Victorian requires on average 8 tonnes per year of quarry material to support the building of roads, houses and other infrastructure to service their needs. However, viable locations for future quarries are becoming increasingly limited as urban development and environmental constraints sterilise some known virgin resources. Continued demand for pavement construction materials will over a 10 – 40 year period exhaust the supply from some existing quarries, forcing the supply of Victorian quarry resources to move progressively further away from demand – much like the circumstances in New South Wales where the increased cost of haulage greatly impacted prices for virgin materials.
This business case presents the competitiveness of local recycled products in pavement construction. Recommendations for councils to procure local recycled products for pavement construction are also provided.
There is a viable business case for councils to use local recycled products in pavement construction, based on and subject to the dimensions of quality, price and availability.
VicRoads is a national leader in the use of recycled products in pavement construction and provide a range of specifications and technical documentation to support the use of accredited recycled products from accredited suppliers.
Downer partnered with Hume City Council, Close the Loop and RED Group to construct a demonstration road using recycled soft plastics, glass and toner cartridge in asphalt
Swinburne University in partnership with Alex Fraser Group and VicRoads investigate the application of glass fines as a a) supplementary material with recycled crushed rock in cement treated bound pavement (road base) applications and b) as a rigidity reduction material when used in unbound crushed concrete/crushed rock (triple) blends.
Swinburne University in partnership with VicRoads researched using recycled crushed glass and crushed brick as supplementary material in cement treated bound pavement applications. This research resulted in VicRoads updating their specifications.
Swinburne University investigated the use of recycled crushed glass (5mm minus glass fines) as a supplementary material with recycled concrete aggregates in cement treated bound pavement applications. This project resulted in VicRoads updating their specifications.